LONDON (AP) — Lawyers for victims of sex offender Jeffrey Epstein say Britain’s Prince Andrew should speak to U.S. investigators immediately, after the prince withdrew from royal duties over what he called his “ill-judged association” with the convicted pedophile.
U.S. attorney Gloria Allred said Andrew should contact American authorities “without conditions and without delay."
Andrew announced Wednesday he was pulling out of public duties “for the foreseeable future” amid a firestorm of criticism over his friendship with Epstein. In a statement, he said he was "willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required."
Allred said the 59-year-old prince needed to be clearer.
"Is he insisting that he be served with a subpoena to testify, or is he willing to speak to law enforcement without being legally required to do so?” she said on the BBC.
Prince Andrew - Duke of York
Prince Andrew - Duke of York
Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York visits the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital to open the new Stanmore Building, in London, Britain March 21, 2019. David Mirzoeff/ Pool via REUTERS
Britain's Duke of York visits the Chelsea Flower Show in London, Britain May 20, 2019. Yui Mok/Pool via REUTERS
Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York, (L) and Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (R) attend the annual Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall in London on November 9, 2019. (Photo by Chris Jackson / POOL / AFP) (Photo by CHRIS JACKSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Dame Vivian Hunt and Prince Andrew, Duke of York arrive through the East Gallery during the State Banquet, on day one of the U.S. President's Donald Trump state visit, at Buckingham Palace, London, Britain, June 3, 2019. Victoria Jones/Pool via REUTERS
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 04: Prince Andrew, Duke of York attends the semi-final match between Noval Djokovic and Grigor Dimitrov on centre court at The Wimbledon Championships at Wimbledon on July 4, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York meets patient Brenda Tilbury during a visit the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital to open the new Stanmore Building, in London, Britain March 21, 2019. David Mirzoeff/ Pool via REUTERS
ASCOT, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 18: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince Andrew, Duke of York & Queen Elizabeth II watch the horses in the parade ring as they attend Day 2 of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 18, 2014 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
The Duke of York (left) and the Duke of Cambridge during the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph memorial in Whitehall, central London. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 09: Prince Andrew, Duke of York attends the annual Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall on November 09, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/- WPA Pool/Getty Images)
ASCOT, ENGLAND - JUNE 17: (L-R) Prince Andrew, Duke of York and Prince Harry attend day one of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 17, 2014 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images for Ascot Racecourse)
ASCOT, ENGLAND - JUNE 20: Prince Andrew, Duke of York attends Day 4 of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 20, 2014 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - OCTOBER 24: (CHINA OUT) Prince Andrew, Duke of York speaks during the 10th anniversary of Harrow International School Beijing on October 24, 2014 in Beijing, China. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
ISTANBUL, TURKEY - NOVEMBER 29: Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (R) meets with Duke of York Prince Andrew in Istanbul, Turkey on November 29, 2014. (Photo by Turkish Foreign Ministry/Cengiz Oguz Gumrukcu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ISTANBUL, TURKEY - NOVEMBER 29: Duke of York Prince Andrew attends to the Turkish-British Tatli Dil (mellifluence) Forum in Istanbul, Turkey on November 29, 2014. (Photo by Ahmet Dumanli/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump and the Duke of York are seen at Westminster Abbey as part of their state visit in London, Britain June 3, 2019. Stefan Rousseau/Pool via REUTERS
Prince Andrew has spoken briefly about claims he had sex with an underage girl. Giving a speech in Davos the Duke of York reiterated his denials of the allegations.
ASCOT, ENGLAND - JUNE 19: Queen Elizabeth ll, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Harry and Prince Andrew, Duke of York arrive in an open carriage to attend Ladies Day at Royal Ascot on June 19, 2014 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and the Prince Andrew, the Duke of York (L) speak with John Maynard, 80, from Stoke on Trent via the internet on a Nominet Trust display, during a reception to recognise the British technology sector at Buckingham Palace in central London on June 9, 2014. AFP PHOTO/POOL/ STEVE PARSONS (Photo credit should read Steve Parsons/AFP/Getty Images)
Horse Racing - Royal Ascot - Ascot Racecourse, Ascot, Britain - June 22, 2019 Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York arrive at Ascot REUTERS/Toby Melville
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Lisa Bloom, Allred’s daughter and another lawyer for Epstein’s victims, tweeted that Andrew “and his staff must cooperate with all investigations, show up for civil depositions and trials, and produce all documents."
Businesses, charities and educational institutions affiliated with Andrew’s charitable work began distancing themselves from him after he gave an ill-judged interview with the BBC last week justifying his long friendship with Epstein, who died in August while in jail on sex-trafficking charges. His death was ruled a suicide by New York’s medical examiner.
In the interview, Andrew denied having sex with a woman who says she was trafficked by the billionaire financier and had sex with Andrew when she was 17.
But the prince failed to express any sympathy for Epstein’s victims. And he defended his previous friendship with the billionaire investor because of the contacts it provided when he was preparing for a role as Britain's special trade representative.
The scandal has bloomed into the biggest challenge for Britain’s monarchy since the 1997 death of Princess Diana, when Queen Elizabeth II was accused of appearing aloof and out of touch amid an outpouring of national mourning.
Andrew’s decision to withdraw from public life — unprecedented for a royal in recent decades — came after he consulted his mother, the 93-year-old monarch.